Shields sharp as Royals turn back Rockies 5-1
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) James Shields cooled down hot-hitting Colorado over seven sharp innings, Lorenzo Cain and Salvador Perez both homered and the Kansas City Royals beat the Rockies 5-1 on Tuesday night.
The only run Shields allowed came on an RBI single by Justin Morneau in the fourth inning. Shields (5-3) followed it up by retiring the final 10 batters he faced, striking out the side in the sixth inning and fanning Troy Tulowitzki for the 1,500th strikeout of his career.
Franklin Morales (3-3) gave up four of the five runs for the Rockies. He allowed eight hits and four walks without a strikeout in five innings, needing 99 pitches just to get that far.
The Royals jumped on him right from the start, a pair of double plays the only thing keeping the game from getting out of hand early. Still, Kansas City was able to coax a run across on a two-out single by Escobar to take the lead in the second inning.
Cain made it a 3-1 lead with his two-run shot in the fourth. It was the first home run by the Royals' injury-prone outfielder since July 4, against Cleveland. The ball landed in the bullpen in left field to end a drought for Cain spanning 206 at-bats.
Perez added his solo shot in the fifth, the ball landing in just about the same spot.
That was more than enough support for Shields, who induced a double play to escape a jam in the second inning and then left two runners aboard in the fourth. He wound up striking out eight without issuing a walk in a nice bounce-back performance at Kauffman Stadium.
In his previous home start, Shields allowed eight runs and 12 hits in a loss to Detroit.
When he recorded his milestone strikeout, the crowd at the K gave him a standing ovation. Shields appeared to be confused by the spontaneous applause, raising his hands on the mound as if to say, ''What?'' Eventually, he turned around on the rubber to see his strikeout mark on the giant video board in center field and started chuckling.
After stepping off the back of the mound, Shields tipped his cap and went back to work. He struck out Carlos Gonzalez to end the inning, then set the Rockies down in order in the seventh, finishing off his night by striking out Brandon Barnes for the second time.
NOTES: RHP Tommy Kahnle threw two shutout innings in relief for Colorado. ... The Royals placed 2B Omar Infante (sore back) on the DL and selected the contract of INF Pedro Ciriaco from Triple-A Omaha. ... The Rockies activated Josh Rutledge (illness) from the DL and optioned him to Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... LHP Jason Vargas will start Wednesday for Kansas City. RHP Jhoulys Chacin takes the mound for Colorado.